The winter which had begun during the Dance of the Dragons, officially declared on Maiden's Day, lasted for six years, leading to the Winter Fever claiming multiple victims amongst the highborn at the king's court. The Winter Fever arrived in King's Landing on the third day of 133 AC.
The first sign of the disease was a red flush of the face, easily mistaken for the bright red cheeks that many men exhibit after exposure to the frosty air of a cold winter’s day. But fever followed, slight at first, but rising, ever rising. Bleeding did not help, nor garlic, nor any of the various potions, poultices, and tinctures that were tried. Packing the afflicted in tubs of snow and icy water seemed to slow the course of the fever, but did not halt it, those maesters who grappled with the disease soon found. By the second day the victim would begin to shiver violently and complain of being cold, though he might feel burning hot to the touch. On the third day came delirium and bloody sweats. By the fourth day the man was dead…or on the path to recovery, should the fever break. Only one man in four survived the Winter Fever. Not since the Shivers ravaged Westeros during the reign of Jaehaerys I had such a terrible pestilence been seen in the Seven Kingdoms.
The following people are known to have died of Winter Fever:
- Half the population of Sisterton.
- Almost a fifth of the population of King's Landing.
- Lord Desmond Manderly, in 132 AC.
- Lord Roland Westerling, in 133 AC.
- Ser Tyland Lannister, in 133 AC.
- Lord Leowyn Corbray, in 133 AC.
- His mistress and several of his servants.
- Ser Willis Fell, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, in 133 AC.
- Hazel Harte.
- Queen Alicent Hightower, in 133 AC, who had remained imprisoned since the war ended in 131 AC.
- Two of Queen Jaehaera Targaryen's maids.
- The Commander of the City Watch.
- His successor died nine days later.
The following people are known to have recovered from the Winter Fever: